The Penn State Jazz Festival, held April 8-9 in Esber Recital Hall, will include workshops, masterclasses, appearances by middle and high school jazz bands, and two concerts featuring guest artists Denis DiBlasio, saxophone; George Rabbai, trumpet; Steve Rudolph, piano; Josh Davis, bass; and Marko Marcinko, drums.At 8 p.m. Friday, April 8, the guest artists will collaborate to present an all-star combo concert. They will return to the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 9, to perform with Penn State's Centre Dimensions Jazz Ensemble. Tickets for both concerts in Esber Recital Hall are $4.99 general admission, free for students. (No advance ticket purchase is available.) The concerts will also be available on livestream at CW Studios. All other Jazz Festival activities are free and open to the public.
The Penn State Jazz Festival is sponsored by the University Park Allocation Committee (UPAC) and Penn State Jazz Educators. Click here to access the festival website.Friday April 82:30 p.m. - Big Band Roundtable open discussion, 128 Music Building II3:35 p.m. - Open rehearsal with Centre Dimensions, 128 Music Building II8 p.m. - All-Star Combo Concert, Esber Recital HallSaturday April 98 a.m. -4 p.m. - Jazz Ensemble Adjudications, Esber Recital Hall8 a.m. -4 p.m. - Rhythm Section Lessons with Steve Rudolph, 128 Music Building II3 p.m.- Guest Artist Masterclass, Esber Recital Hall8 p.m.- Centre Dimensions Concert featuring guest artists, Esber Recital HallDenis DiBlasio received his master’s degree from the University of Miami. He is the Executive Director of the Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz at Rowan University and is a saxophonist, composer, arranger and musical director for the Institute. DiBlasio is an internationally acclaimed performer, clinician and educator for the Yamaha Music Corporation of America. He is a published author of five texts on jazz improvisation and a recording artist for Encounter Records with nine CDs under his own name. Various articles, compositions and arrangements are with publishers Jamey Aebersold, Belwin, Hal Leonard, Kendor, Doug Beach, Roncorp, Vandoren, Kjos, Northeastern Music, Warner Brothers, Flute Talk, Saxophone Journal and more.George Rabbai is an adjunct professor of jazz trumpet and improvisation at Rowan University. National recognition came quickly for him when he joined the Woody Herman Orchestra, touring as a jazz soloist and recording on the Concord and Toshiba EMI labels. His unique style of scat singing prompted Herman to reinstate and re-record the classic arrangement of the big band bebop hit of the 1940's "Lemon Drop" as a vocal and trumpet feature. George's lyrical trumpet sound is featured in the soundtrack of "Baseball," a film by Ken Burns, which aired nationally on PBS. Rabbai has worked as a soloist behind vocalist Rosemary Clooney, and is featured on Michael Feinstein's double CD, Romance on Broadway and Romance on Film. He has also been featured with Tony Bennett on his television special, "Tony Bennett With Love."Joshua Davis is a bassist, composer, arranger, and educator. His internationally-acclaimed performances as an orchestral and jazz bassist include concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the National Concert Hall in Taiwan, Blue Note Jakarta, Bimhuis Amsterdam, and Opera Marseille, and hundreds of others. Josh joined the faculty at Susquehanna University as the director of jazz studies in 2006. He was a full-time faculty member and the director of jazz studies at Towson University between 2002 and 2006. Prior to that, he was an awarded leader of curriculum development at Berklee College of Music where, as one of the youngest faculty members, he taught for six years.Steve Rudolph has had an inspiring career in his 50 years of professional music making. Jazz Improv magazine states, “Rudolph is a savvy, swinging, glimmering heavyweight… ...simply outstanding.” With eleven acclaimed CDs as a leader, he has served as producer, arranger and performer on numerous recordings, and his vast experience encompasses concert performances with many renowned jazz masters. He has toured throughout the U.S., India, Europe, Canada, Russia and the Caribbean.
Marko Marcinko has worked as a freelance musician playing drum set, percussion, piano/keyboards, bass guitar, and trombone. He has also served as a studio session player, arranger, musical director and producer for numerous commercial marko marcinkojingles, indie-films, off-Broadway, club, and theater engagements. Born in Archbald, Pennsylvania, Marcinko studied technique with drumming master Joe Morello and continued his training at the University of Miami where he studied classical, jazz, brazilian and afro-cuban styles. He came onto the international music scene in 1994 while touring and recording with trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson.